Dallas Gets Good Marks for Trump Visit

Visit planned on short notice

There was a sigh of relief at Dallas Police Headquarters Friday as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump left from Love Field to continue his Texas visit elsewhere.

About half the city's force of 3,500 officers was involved with security for the visit and demonstrations in one way or another.

"The officers did an exceptional job," Dallas Police Chief David Brown said.

Before the visit began Thursday, Brown said Dallas commanders studied problems experienced in other cities where Trump's presence sparked violence.

"We looked at what we could do better to make sure that that didn't happen in Dallas," Brown said.

Working with the U.S. Secret Service, Trump's campaign staff and Dallas Fire-Rescue, Dallas police provided security for Trump motorcades, at a Preston Center hotel where Trump stayed, at The Highland Hotel on Central Expressway where Trump held a fundraiser and at Gilley's nightclub on South Lamar Street where a Trump rally and demonstrations were staged.

Thousands of Trump supporters attended the rally and another thousand or so protesters and supporters demonstrated on Lamar Street.

The Dallas strategy on Lamar was to keep Trump supporters and protesters apart as much as possible with a large force of officers ready to deal with confrontations.

"If conflict did develop we would very quickly and swiftly deal with that conflict so it didn't grow," Brown said. "And we tried to express that early on, that we would make sure protesters had their right to freedom of expression, but did not injure people or destroy property."

Several people were removed for disrupting the Trump rally which was held on private property. Police removed seven people from the demonstrations on the street. One person was arrested and a news photographer was injured. Dallas Fire-Rescue reported seven people were treated for heat-related injuries, and one was hospitalized. In all, Thursday night's events were far more peaceful than Trump visits in some other places.

NBC 5 law enforcement expert Don Peritz said arrangements for the visit were planned on very short notice. Peritz visited the Lamar Street location to witness how things went.

"Everyone should be proud," said Peritz. "This is a credit to Dallas as a whole – not only to the public service agencies involved, the people who executed it – but the citizens."

Trump, himself, praised Dallas police several times during his Thursday night speech and many supporters attending the rally said they appreciated the police presence.

Protest organizer Carlos Quintanilla also praised Dallas police but said demonstrators deserve credit, too.

"I think the police did an excellent job and I also believe that both sides were on their best behavior. No one wanted to send the wrong message to America – that the Trump supporters are violent or our supporters are violent. So everyone was behaving," Quintanilla said.

Protest organizers Domingo Garcia and Peter Johnson also said they believe Dallas police and demonstrators displayed good cooperation.

Chief Brown said past police outreach efforts with the community paid off in this situation.

"The Dallas Police Department is committed, dedicated, professional," Brown said.

Protest organizer Dominique Alexander criticized police communication with demonstrators. Alexander said improvements should be made in the future.

Figures were not available Friday on how much money the city of Dallas spent providing services for the Trump events.

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